Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Veterinary Technology Degree Overview
Veterinary technology programs provide students with the skills needed to work as assistants to veterinarians. Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology programs feature hands-on experience and classroom instruction to help students find entry-level employment.
Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology
Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in veterinary technology can learn how to care for animals within a veterinary office, provide ethical treatment of animals in research labs and assist veterinarians during surgeries. Most AAS in Veterinary Technology programs are available at technical schools and community colleges. The American Veterinary Medical Association accredits veterinary technology programs across the country.
Some AAS programs require students to complete specific biology, chemistry, algebra and computer courses before enrolling in the program. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.
In addition to general education requirements, students typically complete courses in veterinary medicine and animal science. Students learn how to x-ray and anesthetize animals, analyze blood samples and care for distressed animal patients. Examples of courses offered include:
- Animal nutrition
- Veterinary nursing procedures
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), employment for veterinary technologists and technicians is expected to increase by 52% from 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). The increase may be due to rising pet ownership numbers and a higher demand for veterinary services. In May 2012, the BLS reported that veterinary technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $30,290.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates can seek immediate employment or pursue bachelor's degree programs in veterinary technology. Students enrolled in these 4-year programs take additional courses in animal science and receive pre-clinical training.
Veterinary technicians and technologists must typically be licensed, certified or registered within the state where they want to practice. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards administers the Veterinary Technician National Examination. Associate's degree holders can sit for state certification tests.
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